Legendary rapper, Biz Markie, who brought us such hits like “Just a Friend” and “Vapors” is still alive and under medical care, despite rumors of his death. His manager Jenni Izumi confirmed in a statement on his health. Many people, including prominent artists like Pharrell and Talib Kweli, shared their reactions as Biz Markie trended on Twitter in the early hours of the morning.
“The news of Biz Markie’s passing is not true,” Izumi wrote. “Biz is still under medical care, surrounded by professionals who are working hard to provide the best health care possible. Biz’s wife and family are touched by the outpouring of love and admiration from his friends, peers and fans alike. At this time, we ask for your continued thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
The death rumors followed reports of health scares in the recent past. Markie was hospitalized in 2020 for an illness related to Type II Diabetes and reportedly suffered a stroke.
After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2014, Biz made some changes and his health was going in a positive direction. Through diet, exercise and cutting back on sugar, the beatboxing funnyman and hip-hop icon went from 385 to 244 pounds and hopes to lose 30 more.
“I walk. I do the treadmill, I walk around the mall,” Biz, 57 told the Daily News. “I do a little crunches with my stomach, not that much. Just enough to get the engine going cha-cha-cha-cha-cha-cha! Vroooommmmm.”
Another big step: Swapping his sugary soda habit for the no-calorie drink Zevia, made with stevia. It comes in a range of flavors like Cola, Ginger Ale and Biz’s favorite, Black Cherry.
“Instead of me drinking a soda that’s got 70 sugars in it, it has no sugar and it’s sweeter. It’s like God said, ‘Yo, we need you on earth a little longer!’” Biz said. “I take it on the road, I take it everywhere. I would have a Zevia IV if I could.”
Biz has even taught a few cooking classes through Living Social in nearby D.C. “Chicken stir fry, chicken pad Thai with peanut butter sauce. Sugar-free lemon cupcakes. I make anything you want,” he said and gives credit to his parents for teaching him how to cook.
While we don’t know exactly what kind of complication Biz is currently facing, we do understand how long-term complications of Type 2 diabetes can develop gradually, and can eventually be disabling or even life-threatening. Some of the potential complications of diabetes include:
Heart and blood vessel disease – Diabetes dramatically increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and narrowing of blood vessels (atherosclerosis).
Nerve damage (neuropathy) – Excess sugar can cause tingling, numbness, burning or pain that usually begins at the tips of the toes or fingers and gradually spreads upward. Eventually, you may lose all sense of feeling in the affected limbs. Damage to the nerves that control digestion can cause problems with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. For men, erectile dysfunction may be an issue.
Kidney damage – Diabetes can sometimes lead to kidney failure or irreversible end-stage kidney disease, which may require dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Eye damage – Diabetes increases the risk of serious eye diseases, such as cataracts and glaucoma, and may damage the blood vessels of the retina, potentially leading to blindness.
Slow healing – Left untreated, cuts and blisters can become serious infections, which may heal poorly. Severe damage might require toe, foot or leg amputation.
Hearing impairment – Hearing problems are more common in people with diabetes.
Skin conditions – Diabetes may leave you more susceptible to